If your toddler’s birthday is fast approaching and you’ve hit a party planning roadblock, worry no more! The thought of managing a group of toddlers during a party can be overwhelming, but our general toddler party planning tips, fun food and decorating ideas and activity suggestions are sure to set your mind at ease. With the right game plan and plenty of supervision, you can throw a great party that will thrill your toddler and entertain your guests… without wiping you out!
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Planning & Invitations
What Do I Need For the Party?
In addition to basic party supplies, like plates, cups, napkins and decorations, you may want to consider purchasing, borrowing or renting the following services for your Toddler’s party:
- A moon bounce
- Petting zoo animals
- A magician
- A clown
- A popcorn, cotton candy, or snow cone machine
- A pinata
Toddler Party Theme Ideas
If you need a party theme idea for your toddler, here are some of our most popular toddler themed party guides. Use these guides to get ideas for theme related games, planning suggestions and more!
- Farm Party: Gather up the animals and head on down to the farm. Hire a petting zoo or visit a real farm on your child’s birthday.
- Circus Party: Take your child and a few friends to the circus for the day or host your own circus games at home.
- Sesame Street Party: Tell your guests how to get to Sesame Street on your child’s birthday. Celebrate the big day with Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and rest of your child’s favorite characters.
- Mickey & Minnie Party: Mickey’s Clubhouse fans may enjoy having a tea party with Minnie or performing magic tricks with Mickey on their birthday. This is a great theme if you plan on inviting boys and girls.
- Monkey Party: All kids love to monkey around which is why monkey parties are so popular. Decorate your home to look like a jungle and invite all the animals to play.
Here are some of our favorite toddler themed Personalized Invitations, that include all the party details for you!
There is tremendous flexibility in decorating for a toddler’s birthday party. You can keep things simple with a handful of traditional decorations like helium-filled balloons and streamers, or you can select a theme for your child’s party and bring it to life with themed decorations. Here are a few standard tips that you can implement to set the mood for a basic party or a theme party:
- Hang or float bunches of balloons throughout the party area. For girls, you may use a combination of pink, purple, and white, or your daughter’s favorite colors. For boys, red, yellow, and blue work well, unless your son prefers other colors. If you’ve chosen a theme for your party, select colors that complement the designs on your cups, plates, and other partyware.
- Twist together streamers in the same color scheme as the balloons, and hang them along the walls and doorway of the main party area. For a fun touch, you can also hang long strips of streamers in a row across each entryway into the main party area, creating curtains for your guests to pass through as they come and go.
- Decorate the walls of the party area with letters of the alphabet and numbers cut from construction paper, or use pictures of your toddler’s favorite characters cut from magazines or printed from the Internet.
- Play popular children’s music, or the soundtrack from your child’s favorite movie or TV show.
- Set up a special spot for the guest of honor to sit for pictures and/or story time. If one is available, use a child-sized chair, and decorate it with balloons, streamers, pictures of your child’s favorite cartoon characters, or anything else your child likes.
- Block off a bit of the main party area, and turn it into a giant play pen stocked with age-appropriate toys and/or art supplies, such as crayons and blank paper. You can use this space to entertain your little guests in between activities, or as an area where they can cool down after playing more active games.
- Make a playhouse out of a large refrigerator or furniture box. Decorate it to complement your chosen theme or to look like a miniature of your own home. This can be incorporated into the designated play area or another part of the party area.
When it comes to food, children are usually perfectly content to eat pizza or hotdogs, which is certainly much easier on the hosts! However, if you have time, you can serve theme-related treats like animal crackers for an animal party or seawater (i.e. apple juice with blue food coloring) for an ocean party. Either way, minimally-messy finger foods are best for toddlers, so consider things like:
- Animal crackers
- Apple and pear wedges
- Baby carrots
- Bagel bites
- Cheese cubes
- Sliced veggies
- Goldfish crackers
- Ice cream cups
- Juice boxes
- Mini cookies
- Pigs in a blanket
Party Favor Ideas
Here are some toddler safe toy ideas that your guests will go gaga over!
- Bubble tumblers
- Small stuffed animals
- A bag of fruit snacks, cookies or granola bar
- Crayons and a coloring book
- Board books
- Squirt toys
- Finger puppets
- Stadium cups
- Personalized placemats
Party Planning Toolbox
Use the links below to quickly find related theme party supplies, planning tips, printable checklists, and advice from our party planning experts.
- Themed Party Supplies: Includes paperware, invitations, personalized items, favors, and decorations for your party theme.
- Personalized Items: Check out our exclusive personalized items including invitations, bookmarks, stickers, and more!
- Birthday Party Decorating Ideas: This guide will tell you how to decorate for your party theme, what to do with balloons and streamers, how to decorate with food, how to set the table, and how to make your own party decorations.
- Parties Under $100: Use this guide to celebrate in style without breaking the bank!
- Party Budget Estimator: Download this guide to help budget your expenses.
- More Birthday Theme Ideas: Browse our list of over 130 themed party guides to find tips for your child’s next birthday! Each guide includes ideas for invitations, decorations, food, favors, games and more.
Games and Activities
Guests color and wear their own adorable animal masks.
Every child knows and loves the classic game of musical chairs.
Kids will love this classic game of follow the leader.
This easy-to-play game is fun for older and younger children alike.
Have your partygoers excavate a sandbox in search of seashells and prizes.
Children will love this classic game where anyone can become the “Goose”.
This is a great animal-themed circle game for younger children.
For this outdoor game, children form two lines and try to break through the other team’s line.
Whip up a few different face paints and enjoy some colorful fun at the party.
Print out copies of our coloring page and let your guests decorate them.